there are alot of dead trees on the property next door and one big tree fell and damaged my fence and is on my property now , who is responsible for removal of the tree and damages to my fence?

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there are alot of dead trees on the property next door and one big tree fell and damaged my fence and is on my property now , who is responsible for removal of the tree and damages to my fence?

The owner never does any maintenance on his trees and won’t cooperate with me to get this tree off my property and fix my fence. I don’t feel i should have to incur an increase in MY homeowners insurance due to his neglect to take care of the trees on his property that are causing damage on my property.

Asked on September 27, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF the tree was obviously dead and/or a falling risk if someone looked at it, or you had specifically warned him about the tree, so that he was on notice of the threat, then his failure to deal with the threat could easily be considered "negligent," or unreasonably careless (the law considers it unreasonable to not take steps to mitigate or reduce known threats/risks). In that case, he would be liable for the removal, repair, etc. costs--but unfortunately, if he (or his insurer) will not voluntarily pay, your recourse would be to sue for the money; therefore, while in this case you are entitled to compensation, you may have to bring a lawsuit to get it.
If *this* tree was not an obvious or known threat, however, he would not be liable, since in the absence of a known or obvious threat, he would not be expected to do anything or take special precautions.


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